FDA expected to authorize Pfizer booster shots for all adults this week: report

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to authorize booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for all adults as soon as Thursday, The New York Times reported

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) independent committee of vaccine experts, meanwhile, is scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss data on the booster dose's efficacy and safety, according to the Times.

Should both the FDA and the CDC approve moving forward with the authorization, any American adult who received a second dose of the vaccine six or more months ago will be eligible to get a booster dose this weekend. 

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If the booster dose's authorization is expanded, it would mark a notably quick turnover, as Pfizer officially requested it from the government just a little over a week ago. 

The FDA is expected to make this decision without its expert panel, which has frequently met during the ongoing pandemic to review vaccine data and make recommendations ahead of scheduled decisions, according to the Times.

The agency recently downsized Pfizer’s request to fully approve booster shots for all adults, instead signing off on adults who are 65 years or older and those with underlying medical conditions and at-risk jobs to receive booster shots. 

This comes as some states including California, Arkansas, Colorado and New Mexico have implemented similar policies in response to the rise of virus cases in their states. 

The Biden administration hoped to start the vaccine booster campaign in September, but the move was criticized by health experts who said Biden was rushing federal health officials to make a plan on vaccine boosters, the Times reported.

Moderna is also expected to submit its own request to the FDA for eligibility on its vaccine booster, sources familiar told the Times. 

Last month, booster shots were authorized for those who received the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and for vulnerable groups who received the two-dose Moderna vaccine, the Times noted.